Tag Archives: Viggo Mortensen

The Road: A Second Evaluation


A coworker hired me to help her son with English – literature in particular. The kid is 15 and seems more interested in video games and slacking than learning anything from books so I have an upward battle ahead of me. We started with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (I’ve had him read the first four graphic novels) and after each one I ask him a few simple questions. I know he’s entering the 10th grade and questions about critical theory are out but I’m still trying to make him understand simile, metaphor, allusion, and other terms any good American high school student should grasp. I did and I wasn’t even a good student until college.

I started the boy off on comic books because I figured he’d respond to these (and learn something in the process). Now I’m moving him up to literature and his first novel in this venture is Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I figured it would be a good read for a teenager – it’s bleak, interesting, like a zombie story (without the zombies), and a quick read. I read it again, to come up with questions, in about 12 hours. He still hasn’t answered any of those questions yet. However, last night I watched The Road again (it’s the third time now) and I still feel it’s a good adaptation of McCarthy’s Pulizter Prize winning novel.
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The Book of Eli


I’m uncertain whether it’s a penchant for witnessing humanity’s worst in action or seeing a portrait of our lot at its best but I’ve always had a soft spot for post-apocalyptic films. Watching the society I rely upon for my sustenance crumbled always makes for a good tale and over and over again I keep revisiting old post-apocalyptic films and searching out for new ones. Today I watched The Hughes Brothers film The Book of Eli – a post-apocalyptic film about the Bible. Although I didn’t think The Book of Eli was excellent I did enjoy it and felt the commentary about religion was powerful. After the 2009 release of The Road, adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s Pultizer Prize winning novel, it’s difficult to look at the genre without a sharp dose of criticism for anything that doesn’t compare. Unfortunately, The Book of Eli doesn’t come close to The Road but it’s still a decent piece of film and isn’t without merit.
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Authenticity in Post-Apocalyptic Visions: The Road and The Walking Dead

Man: “How would you know you’re the last man alive?”

Eli: “I guess you wouldn’t know it, you’d just be it.”

I’m watching The Road again. I saw it in the theater and was devastated; it’s a very grim movie, bleak in every way. In contrast to last night’s Walking Dead finale, The Road is great. Where Frank Darabont’s post-apocalyptic zombie series falls short, The Road is truly terrifying. Every moment is horrendous, imparting a gamut of emotions instantaneously. After last night’s disappointing Walking Dead episode, watching this film again reminds me of how powerful the post-apocalyptic genre can be.
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